NICOLA Sturgeon is among a number of influential women, including former world leaders, to put forward a list of recommendations for furthering gender equity.

Scotland’s First Minister joined former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Irish president Mary Robinson in warning that the rights of women and girls around the world are under threat.

In a call for urgent action, the leaders said achieving gender equity “is a fundamental precursor to economic productivity, peace, and prosperity”.

Recommendations include fostering conditions for women political leaders to succeed, addressing online violence against women and promoting women’s leadership at all levels of climate action.

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The guidance came after the leaders met at the 2022 Global Women Leaders Summit at the Bellagio Center in Italy.

In a video for The Rockefeller Foundation, which organised the meeting of women leaders alongside the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Sturgeon said there is a long way to go towards gender equity.

“The progress we have made in fragile,” she said. “And if we don't safeguard it and nurture it and continue to build upon it, that is a real danger in my view, in the years to come that it could go backwards.

“I think if more women are in leadership positions that acts as a catalyst for change elsewhere.

“There's a wealth of evidence that whether we look at governments or the boards of companies or other organisations, if there is greater gender equity in the representation on these bodies, then decision making is more inclusive and better.”

Sturgeon said it’s not enough in and of itself to have women in positions of leadership.

She said: “I think there is much more to be done to support women in those positions and to continue to tackle and challenge some of the barriers that women even at the highest levels of decision making still face.

“Women have been fighting these battles for generations, we have made progress but sometimes it feels as if we take one step forward and two steps back so we need to keep holding on to achieve equity because we are most definitely overdue for equity.”

Former US Democratic presidential candidate Clinton, who chaired the event, said: “At this unprecedented moment, women leaders are critical to delivering a better future for all. I was proud to be a part of this important convening.”

Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, said: “We are fortunate to have the participation and insights from trailblazing women who’ve spent decades advancing progress for women and girls.

“At this critical time, we look forward to partnering with The Rockefeller Foundation to bring some of these ideas to life in subsequent programming.”

Zia Khan, senior vice president of Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation, said: “The Rockefeller Foundation has a proud history of connecting amazing leaders and helping them change the world. With its bold goal of ending gender injustice once and for all, the Global Women Leaders Summit will be remembered as a meeting where trailblazing leaders realized a turning point in building a more equitable future."

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Key recommendations include:

• Fostering conditions for women political leaders to succeed, including by establishing support networks for women political leaders and heads of state to equip them with strategies for navigating pushback.

• Promoting women’s leadership at all levels of climate action.

• Addressing online violence against women and ensuring international standards and legal frameworks address all forms of violence against women, including by listing hate speech as a cyber-crime and form of gender-based violence.

• Securing accessible funding for local women’s organisations.

The full report can be found here